Stiles Thomas shared this poem by Patricia Cooper with me more than a dozen years ago.
I asked her to record it for me, and with the help of a friend, I made it into a video (above).It was before HD, alas.
I am also reposting the poem here. (Thank you, Pat!)
The poem is billed as "a fond look back at the Celery Farm Natural Area when it consisted of working farms, and some sweet childhood memories. Includes archival images and music by the Hunger Mountain Boys." (Thank you, Hunger Mountain Boys!)
Photos of the Bajor Farm and the Bajor Rock in the Celery Farm at Barking Dog Corner follow.
Layers of Memories
A Walk Around the Celery Farm
By Patricia L. Cooper
For you, it is a field of weeds, and punks and flittering birds.
I see lettuce, celery and zucchini squash,
Straight rows of black dirt, stacked sash frames
Glittering in the sun.
For you, it is a path to a quaint old tractor
And the Butterfly Garden.
I walk the path to Baba's barn,
Where bushels of tomatoes are sorted for market
And Bessy the cow waits to be milked;
For you, cherry trees bloom in the spring and Foxes Run.
I see the path to Baba's house, uphill,
Past the barns and the greenhouse.
For you, it is a path crossing a brook,
Blocked in by trees and high rushes.
I walk with a child's stride, the long path to Zabriskie's stream,
Where horses run in an open field.
For you, there is a path by a flowing stream,
Tunneled by branches overhead.
I hear my mother's memories of the celery packing plant,
A large operation, bigger than the Bajor farm across the way,
But they often worked together on the really large orders.
Sometimes I see square ponds glistening with little golden fish;
A few escape and grow in to legends.
For you, and the geese, it is a wide stretch of open water,
Viewing platforms, swans' nest, heron's feast. '
I tie my skates and hide my shoes in a secret place by the pump house,
Weave through narrow ditches to reach the Big Ditch,
Where goldfish swim beneath clear black ice and
The ice cracks look a foot deep.
Winter's pond is where the big boys play hockey.
For you, there is a dark space and a punk filled mini swamp.
I see a still flowing stream, with fish and frogs,
A safe place to learn to skate.
For you, there is barking dog corner, a bend in the path.
I hear all the dogs of my childhood, and Mr. Jigs, a black and white
Scamp who would visit for a scratch and a snack,
But never stay with anyone.
He died from eating poison bait; it is his ghost you hear barking.
In a still June day
Redwing blackbird come,
My path begins and ends at the Bajor Bench...
Cherish the Land